Stafford will use more of its $26 million in federal CARES Act funding to provide broadband internet access in rural portions of the county.
At a recent meeting, the Stafford County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to use funds gained through the CARES Act to improve wireless broadband access in some of the more underserved areas of the county.
Stafford County received a total of $525,000 after it submitted a grant application to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The money
comes from is in addition to a $30 million pot of unused CARES Act grant funds set aside by Governor Ralph Northam dedicated to fast-tracking broadband projects throughout the state of Virginia.
The county learned its application was approved on Oct. 28.
The funds will be used to improve broadband in the western regions of Stafford County, specifically the Hartwood and Rock Hill districts.
Hartwood District Supervisor Gary Snellings expressed excitement about the project and noted that one of the biggest issues in both the Hartwood and Rock Hill is no broadband access, say county leaders.
The new wireless broadband service will be provided by KGI Communications, an internet technology company based in King George County that also serves areas of Stafford, Caroline, Westmoreland counties in Virginia, and just across the Potomac River in Charles County, Md.
KGI will install wireless broadband equipment on two existing towers, one at 399 Poplar Road and another at 151 Chriswood Lane. The two towers are projected to provide 16,729 residences and businesses with wireless broadband service.
It would also provide service for 250 residents that are considered economically challenged by the County. KGI will provide equipment for those residents to access this new service.
Rock Hill District Supervisor Crystal Vanuch asked when the project would be completed and the response was Dec. 25.
“Merry Christmas,” exclaimed Vanuch.
Last year, residents in Stafford County’s Aquia District received wireless broadband service when KGI installed towers in that area.